Ferry Lane - flooding response
Trenport Director Chris Hall has confirmed that he wrote to Wouldham Parish Council's former Chairman Richard Stone in response to allegations that the flood risk to some properties in Ferry Lane would be made worse by the New Medway Crossing.
He told Cllr Stone: "A local resident had insisted to me that Trenport’s Environmental Statement (ES) at the time of the successful planning application for Peters Village and the New Medway Crossing stated that flood levels in Ferry Lane 'could potentially increase by a few millimetres (up to 50mm) as a result of the development.'
"I said this was not the case, but agreed to check my facts and can now confirm that the original quote actually comes from an Environment Agency response to the Peters Village consultation by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council (TMBC), later re-quoted by that council.
"However, that same response also adds: 'This means that (and I place my own emphasis here) a few properties in Wouldham which are already at risk from flooding, could be placed at slightly higher risk'.
"The Agency concluded by recommending several conditions, one of which is: 'Prior to the start of works, the developer (Trenport) should agree with the Authority (TMBC) and implement, a flood defence to a finished defence height of 5.1m AOD (above sea level) to offer flood protection to dwellings along Ferry Lane'.
"As the land in question is not owned by Trenport it was not possible for TMBC to attach such a condition to the planning permission. Instead, the issue was addressed in a document known as an s106 Agreement which places several obligations on Trenport:
a) That Trenport pay TMBC a (Ferry Lane) Flood Prevention Contribution of £120,000 (index linked) before starting the development
b) Trenport endeavours to ensure the works are carried out - the works being defined by reference to a drawing included within the s106.
"I can now confirm that an indexed amount has now been agreed with TMBC and paid. It was not paid earlier because the development has not yet reached the stage stipulated in s106, but Trenport will be approaching the landowners concerned shortly.
"Our original flood analysis in 2005/6 reckoned that our development would have no negative impact on the Ferry Lane properties. The Environment Agency took a slightly different view, as noted above, but still concluded that only properties already at flood risk might face a slightly higher risk.
"However, the flood model available in 2005/2006 was a fairly crude one; more sophisticated resources were available for our licence application in 2011 to construct the new bridge piers in tidal water.
"We also commissioned further detailed data, and all of this new information actually showed a minor reduction in projected flood depths at Ferry Lane post-Peters Village/new bridge, though confirming that the same Ferry Lane properties would still face the same flood risk as they do now."